Santa Barbara hosts several wine festivals throughout the year, often spotlighting some of the region’s most breathtaking settings and almost always featuring winemakers doing the pouring themselves.
The Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival is the area’s longest-running fete and returns every spring. It’s set on the gorgeous grounds of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, behind the Old Mission Santa Barbara, and is marked by towering oaks along meandering Mission Creek. Some of Santa Barbara’s most famous winemakers stake claim to the same spot year after year and aren’t shy about engaging with the festival’s thousand-plus visitors.
Santa Barbara Vintners throw two parties a year, the Vintners Festival in spring and the Celebration of Harvest in autumn. More than one hundred wineries pour alongside many of Santa Barbara’s best chefs as live tunes fill the air. These festivals are flanked by open houses, dinners and seminars that always inspire a long weekend visit to wine country.
And for sips with a view, put the summertime California Wine Festival on the calendar. The multi-day extravaganza features a grand tasting along Santa Barbara’s sweeping waterfront.
Look for myriad other, smaller wine festivals throughout the year — they are often linked to one of Santa Barbara’s many non-profit endeavors. Sipping with purpose. We wouldn’t do it any other way.